Bridal shows are somewhat of a right of passage for a bride and her bridesmaids. Much like a bridal shower, they are becoming a standard tradition in the string of memorable events that lead up to the big day. It’s no wonder brides flock to them every spring and fall. They are fun, exciting and there’s usually prizes to be won. But did you know that your local bridal show could also help you save thousands on your big day? Read on to find out how you can leverage bridal shows to maximize your wedding budget and have an incredible experience.
Tip 1 // BRING YOUR CREW //
These shows are always a fun day out for you and your entourage so be sure to bring along at least a couple of your bridesmaids. Everything in life is always more fun with friends. Plus, your closest friends know you well and can help you make important decisions you might otherwise hesitate on. These shows can also be a fun time with your groom. While they are usually more geared towards brides, they also provide a great deal of information for the groom that likes taking part or offering support during the planning process of your wedding day. Bring them all and make a fun day of it! You could even grab dinner or drinks after to discuss all the awesome vendors you met and any inspiration for your day that struck you while there.
Tip 2 // MAKE CONNECTIONS //
This is probably the most important aspect of a bridal show. Looking at a vendor’s website or social media pages can usually give you a good feel of the services they offer but it does not compare to meeting them in person or seeing their products in person. If you’ve ever been on a zoom call with anyone ever, or could only see your best friend through video chat for long periods of time, then this should hit home for you. Online is great, but it is just not the same as in person. Utilize the show to meet the vendors you’ve had your eye on or find new ones you may not have heard of yet. Visit every booth, but especially those that catch your eye. There’s limited time at these shows so most vendors will give a tiny paragraph of a speech which helps them speak to several brides at once and give them a quick overview of their services. If you are interested in that vendor or their services, the best thing you can do is have a one on one conversation with them. Usually all you have to do is walk up to them and say hi and they will take it from there. This will give you an opportunity to discuss what they can do for you specifically and for you to get to know them better. The vendors at your wedding will be an integral part to your entire day, some of them may even be in your life for a year or more depending on their service and where you are in your planning. Their personality and how you connect with them is as equally important as the quality of services and products they provide. Make a plan ahead of time to speak with at least your top 5 vendors that you know will be there.
Tip 3 // SHOW SPECIALS //
Any wedding vendor that’s been in their line of business for longer than a minute knows that these shows are in-person advertising. They are there to showcase what they do so that they can make connections with people who need their services. And everyone knows good advertising comes with a good deal. Depending on the show and the vendor's services, they can spend upwards of 2k just to be there so they want to make it worth it. Show Specials are a key component for them and for you. A quality vendor will have a Show Special that’s usually good the day of the show only. This is vital information for you and it can save you THOUSANDS on your big day! Let’s say every vendor at the show is offering 10% off their services or products… that can add up quick and save you BIG! It’s a deal you wouldn’t otherwise get since the majority of wedding vendors do not offer sales or discounts on their services at any other time. Be sure to ask the vendors you are interested in about their Show Specials and take advantage of it while you can.
TIP 4 // SIGN UPS //
To further your connection with vendors you love, sign up for their email list. This is usually done when you register at their booth for a prize but sometimes it’s just a simple email sign up with no prize. The information they will give you through those emails will tell you more about them and their services. This is an important step to get to know them because time is very limited at the show. And sometimes we get caught up in all the sights and sounds and exciting things going on and forget to have that very important one-on-one conversation. Signing up for their email list lets them know you are interested in what they offer and can help foster a more personal connection in the future.
TIP 5 // SAMPLE SAMPLE SAMPLE //
Take this one to heart! Sample ALL the things. Don’t be shy! You are there to try vendors out and they are there to let you do so. Try the food, smell the flowers, feel and hold the heirloom wedding albums (smell those too if ya want!). See, eat, touch and feel everything you can. But, you know, clean your hands first 😉. This is where most of the fun comes in! Experience it all. Take it all in. And hire the vendors that you absolutely LOVE.
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Florence // Huntsville // Nashville
The Happily Ever After Bridal Show in Florence, Alabama is presented by The TimesDaily and Faye Mann. This Florence wedding fair is held at the Marriot Shoals Conferrence Center every Spring and Fall and features some of the areas best vendors plus a fashion show of gorgeous wedding dresses, bridemaids dresses and suits . Each bride has plenty of oppertunities to win door prizes AND and entire wedding! Spring dates are usually in January or Febuary. Fall dates are usually in November. Visit The TimesDaily Facebook page events tab for specific dates each season.
On Saturday Febuary 4, 2023 some of our favorite vendors will be at this show including: The Lakes Venue, The Cotton Gin, The Stricklin, Promenade, Party Pros, Complete Asthetics, Awaken Films, Locust Hill, Jut's Flowers & 117 Catering just to name a few.
Alabama Bridal & Wedding Expo - This Birmingham wedding fair is held at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex around May of each year. It features a fashion show, live band and DJ and, of course, some of the areas best wedding vendors. There's also lots of door prizes to be won!
Celebrations Bridal Event - Modern Brides, located in Huntsville, AL, has been hosting the Celebrations Bridal Event for over 30 years. This bridal event is North Alabama's' largest bridal show with an average of 100 vendors at each show. The Celebrations Bridal Event is hosted twice a year, usually in January and November. Visit their website for specific dates each season. Vendors supply hundreds of door prizes in their special prize area. Free services, jewelry, floral arrangements, cookware, and honeymoons are just a few of the prizes given away to almost every bride that attends.
Tennessee Bridal & Wedding Expo - The Bridal & Wedding Expo in Nashville, TN features an amazing selection of wedding professionals ready to help you find the perfect gown, reception venue, invitations, photographer, music, menu, honeymoon destination, and much more! Don’t miss the bridal fashion shows and live DJ demos, plus tons of prizes and giveaways. It is held at The Fairgrounds Nashville usually in May of each year.